The Coast News Group
The Coastal Commission approved demolition and re-building of a bluff front property at 828 Neptune Ave. Homeowner Leonard Okun has been working for years to gain an OK. Photo by Promise Yee
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Items sail through Coastal Commission

COAST CITIES — Encinitas and Oceanside items sailed through the Coastal Commission to receive approval Jan. 11. 

The City of Oceanside received approval on a one-year extension to file an ordinance change to allow for mini marts and drive-throughs in its downtown district and retail and offices in reclassified property east of North Coast Highway 101 between the San Luis Rey River and state Route 76.

Encinitas property owner Leonard Okun also received long awaited approval for the demolition and re-building of a bluff front property at 828 Neptune Ave.

The property suffered bluff failure in 1996. A retaining wall permit was issued by the city in 2001 and again in 2005.

Okun received city approval to demolish and rebuild the house in 2009, but the decision was appealed by the Coastal Commission.

Okun worked with the commission to gain approval over the next four years.

He sent updated geotechnical analyses and boring logs to the commission in 2010 and 2011, to ensure the commission that the site was safe for construction. Communications continued through 2012 and early 2013.

A revised building plan was also sent.

The Coastal Commission gave the OK for the structure when the building setback was measured from the retaining wall. This allowed it to reach 40 feet, compared to the setback from the bluff top that only measures 20 feet.

Conditions were put on the project, including the requirement to submit a geotechnical/engineering report that assesses bluff stability and residence safety every 10 years. Conditions also call for the house to be removed if it is determined to be unsafe for occupancy.

Encinitas Mayor Teresa Barth said the project could proceed forward.

The next step is for the owner to apply for city building permits.

The total size of the project is 11,760 square feet for the bluff top and 8,581 square feet for the bluff face, this includes a garage and basement.